11 Feb


By Laurien Haynes, starring Sian Clifford as Cat and Nikesh Patel as Adam. 

A new wave of TV/theatre is created in the middle of the difficulties of the Covid Pandemic. Here we have a combination of TV, theatre and film that is possible to be shown worldwide. The method is not concealed. Between many of the scenes the set of a TV studio is shown. You can see the cameras, ladders, the studio managers moving things around, even the Actor sitting at a table waiting for his cue. 

There are even captions just like in the old days of Silent movies. The language is pretty up to date as you will see. 

 The first set is a party scene represented by a positive tower of PIzza boxes. The two actors are Adam who has just lost Liv, his wife, to cancer and Cat who was Liv’s best friend. 

There are still five guests lying on the floor of the hall, weeping. But Cat has remained behind to help clean up the mess. Cat and Adam are obviously very good friends, they are at home with each other. They were both so intimate with the girl who has gone. They laugh together at the passion of Fiona who has planted lipstick kisses all over Adam’s face. He puts on a silly pink wig. 

Suddenly she shivers, Adam puts a coat around her shoulders. She pushes it aside – it was Liv’s coat and it is the first time emotion is shown by the two friends.  

She tells him of Joanna a recent young widow and suggests they go on a date together. 

“What’s this? AA for dead people” he shouts. He doesn’t want to see or meet anyone. He thanks Cat for providing the party. “Dying costs a lot” 

After she leaves, he talks to himself. Says he will count to thirty and Liv will be walking through the door. 

There is a set change and the two are in their own kitchens. Intimate scenes which have been filmed on Zoom. 

Many of the intimate scenes are done this way. They talk to each other constantly. 

The studio set up comes before every scene in which they are together.  

We cut to a carpark at Ikea. During this period neither of them are fit for public consumption. They argue bitterly. She is angry because he did not send for her to be with her friend when she died. Adam had nursed her to the end, but she sent him on an errand so that she could die without him being there.  

Before she died. she wrote a letter telling him how to save his sense of humour after she had gone. The letter cannot be found. 

The next two scenes are BIT SHIT HOTEL BEDROOM where they discuss sleeping together – they had been lovers briefly before Adam met his wife. They both agree it would be a rotten idea. The following scene is STILL SHITTY HOTEL BEDROOM. 

“We must never do this again” 

She is ashamed and hates herself for it. She cannot talk to anyone or look at herself in the mirror. 

He says “Every time I look at you I think of her” 

Stages of grief. 

Loren Haynes wrote the play because she lost her own best friend. Young and beautiful and loved by everybody Nobody understood how it could possibly happen. That someone could just disappear. The play is structured around the five stages of grief 

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. 

The play is mercifully unsentimental. The two joke and squabble in the Ikea car park and love one another in the “Shitty Hotel room”.  

It is a great description of the confusing and conflicting emotions that arrive through grief. Emotions that people display in different ways and at different times.  

It is particularly apt at this time of the pandemic when we are experiencing grief more frequently. 

We are all trying to find humour as it is the only antidote to tragedy and here is can be interpreted by the audience 

The sets are constructed simply – for Adam’s removal from his house it is created with boxes and the opening scene the party begins with mountains of empty pizza cases. 

The actors, the creatives and the crew are all drawn from the worlds of stage and screen. A hybrid of entertainment values looking at emotions that we all face at some time in our lives. 

It is a successful and worthwhile piece of Art. Direction is by Natalie Abrahami. 

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